Hydraulic Fracturing: What Is It? Is it New? Is it Safe?

   Will Your Government Allow You To Find Out?
Hydraulic Fracturing, or ‘Fracking’ gets a lot of people excited and some people afraid and therefore a good number mad enough to do things that can get them in serious trouble.  Is it worth all the fuss?  Is fracking a new and dangerous thing that the greedy oil companies have recently made up just to make even more profits and steal even more of your money?  It seems this is the thought behind many people’s suspicions.  So, let’s settle some of these questions.

I think one of the first things to settle is the fact that we all seem to love to use oil.  We use it in our cars, we use it to heat our homes whether in fuel oil or natural or propane gas and some of us use it to cook with.  Some are fortunate enough to use a lot of it to fly around the country or world in airplanes.  We use it every day in more ways than we can even imagine – have you ever tried to do without using plastics?  More and more of us use it for a fire to warm ourselves with, but the main area we have a noticeable and daily use of it is to fuel our cars to take us many places. I don’t think it’s the greed of oil companies that makes us do any of this, especially driving around in our cars.

Second, let’s address whether or not the practice of fracking is new.  It is not.Some hydraulic fractures even form naturally, which makes it as old as the shale it exists in.  The first experimental use was in 1947 and the first commercially successful applications were in 1949.  As of 2010, it has been estimated that as many as 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide were being hydraulically fractured. Many of the people who seem to be the most concerned about the practice of fracking and also seem to think it is a new thing were very likely not even born in 1949.

To address the question of whether or not your government will allow you to find out, this article will have to give you to opposing answers.  Locally, your county commissioners have voted not to allow fracking in Granville County and you probably didn’t know it and didn’t see any public discussion of that.  A longer public comment from the Republican County Commissioner will follow this article.  The other part of the answer comes from the US Geological Survey, a bureau of the Department of the Interior and will describe hydraulic fracturing with a video and other information:http://energy.usgs.gov/OilGas/UnconventionalOilGas/HydraulicFracturing.aspx

Another link with a more detailed video from the North Dakota Energy Forum:
http://www.ndenergyforum.com/topics/hydraulic-fracturing

And finally, an update from your Granville County Commissioner Tim Karan, who addresses fracking along with cell phone tower placement and Sasquatch sightings in North America:

With October 2013 in the rear view mirror, the highlights from the month surround wireless telecommunications. The Granville County Board of Commissioners reviewed and approved four new cell towers located on the following Roads: Henry Huff , Alvis Brooks , Horseshoe, and Walters. These, including one approved two months ago on Beaver Dam, bring us to five new towers being constructed in Granville County. I believe that Granville is behind the curve on wireless proliferation because of (1) a moratorium that was in place in the early to mid 2000s; and (2) our low population.
The Board also approved a Resolution Opposing Hydraulic Fracturing in Granville County on a 6-1 vote. As you may guess I was the 1. I asked if our Environmental Advisory Committee that proposed the resolution had explored both sides of the argument or if they had studied non-hydraulic fracturing, both of which being answered in the negative. This, coupled with the fact that The General Assembly through HB74 prohibits counties from passing new environmental rules, prompted me to vote against the resolution. During the public hearing there were a few people who made comments for the record which included widely disputed facts about fracking and global warming. I did not neglect to mention in my remarks that it is a fact that there are over 1500 documented cases of Sasquatch sightings in North America.

 

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Obamacare Exchanges – Sticker Shock for Young People?

As I looked through the links on this website tonight, I came across the headline on the Civitas Review website, “Young People May Get Sticker Shock from Obamacare Exchanges”.  The article looked like something that should be part of the debate that is going around and that people younger than I should at least have a look at.  I’m often left wondering if college students have time, between classes and social lives, to think much about this.  This article is written by a young woman, who by her own description is a recent college graduate.  I’ll give you a snippet and let you follow the link if you are interested.  GCGOP

Young People May Get Sticker Shock from Obamacare Exchanges –  Melissa Barnes, Civitas Review

“As a recent college graduate, the looming implementation of the Affordable Care Act, “ObamaCare”, quite frankly scares me. It is no secret that jobs are hard to come by these days, especially for those who are fresh out of college. Not only do we have to worry about finding a job in order to pay off our mounds of student loans, but now we also have to worry about rising costs in health care.

ObamaCare is set to take effect in approximately four days. What exactly does this mean for the younger generation when it comes to their health care costs? My recent findings, via a college friend, are frightening.

A July 2013 study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office lays out the Annual Base Premiums prior to underwriting…..

“The Glass A Whole Lot Closer to Full” Tim Karan, Granville County Commissioner

The following is an update from Tim Karan, our only Republican Granville County Commissioner. It is important for us to stay informed on local issues, and see how our commissioners are spending our tax dollars:

You may have read that at the September Granville County Commissioners meeting there was a request from the Tar River Land Conservancy for $20,000.00 to be used as part of local support to purchase a 215 acre tract of land on Stem’s southern boundary. Our local money would be part of the total $733,000 purchase price, funded by various government trusts. I voted against this action for a few reasons. First, I have it on very good authority that Stem was involved with the land owners trust administrator about getting a portion of the property, which is in the city limits, donated to the town. This purchase would block this. Second, a letter to my board indicated that the land may be used in the future for some form of park; until that time it would be used for timber and wildlife management. I don’t like to spend public money on “we might” or “we envision” or for uses that are restricted to a private group of people. Third, this is how we get ourselves into the green box. From time to time people ask me how in the world the United Nations could implement Agenda 21 in our area. Well it is happening right here, right now, and you and I are not only being marched into order, they’ve got us paying for it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have worked very hard for recreation opportunities in our area. I had the equipment installed at Lake Rogers and I just led a playground build in Creedmoor at Harris Park, which will have an upcoming ribbon cutting. I initiated the requirement for new developments in Creedmoor to have active open spaces. I added 25 feet to stream buffers in Creedmoor before NC required it. I get it; we should all give an inch for the environment, some folks want the whole foot.
This green agenda dominated the September commissioners meeting. The next item we handled was a request from our Environmental Affairs Committee asking us to oppose hydraulic fracturing. Again I was the lone NO vote. I asked three questions of the EAC. First, were any opposing points of view presented to the Committee? Second, were they aware that the EPA had not yet released their findings, and that they were not expected until 2014? Third, had they researched non-hydraulic fracturing or dry fracturing? Since all of these questions were answered with a NO, I voted NO on this restriction.
Initially as a City Commissioner and now as a County Commissioner, I attend the National Association meetings that take place in Washington, DC each spring. There I learn about what is going on in our nation and I share what is happening in Granville County. As an aside, I meet with our members in DC. Over the years I have attended various seminars and symposia covering what we know of fracturing and I have learned there are “facts” and “experts” that seem to support every argument for or against it. I tend to favor the ‘glass is half full’ approach and I’ve been convinced that this glass a whole lot closer to full.

Who is Saeed Abedini?

I’ve been long absent from the blog with the busy-ness of life, of work, home, church and spring gardening and sometimes with the thought of the possibility of the house falling down around my ears if I don’t tackle the repairs.  I tend to think the same about the website and the blog from time to time and come to see if I can rescue it all.

In all of the chaos of life around, I have not missed the many cries from family and friends and those who care deeply about a man from Boise, Idaho, a citizen of the United States just like most of the people who will read this blog, who has been held in an Iranian prison for 225 days.  He just spent his 33rd birthday in solitary confinement.  The one bright spot in this very long ordeal, and an answer to many prayers and much effort on his behalf, is that on May 9th, he was released from solitary confinement – not released to go home or to visit his family in Iran or to walk around as a free U.S. citizen in a foreign country (or his own country), but not currently in the small dark hole where he can’t even talk to his children.  His health is bad because of physical mistreatment and he likely needs to be treated at a hospital, but they won’t allow that.

I want to give you a link here to let you read a little more about Saeed Abedini and the protection he is receiving as a citizen of the United States and along with that, a parallel story of the U.S. response to violence against another American citizen – in the year 1858.  This story is told by the blog over at the Heritage Foundation  – and then don’t forget to pray and write and call to see if you can help this man and his family as much as you would like to be helped if it were you or if it was your son or husband or father….. (read more)

 

Health Care Reform – Watchdog Wire

Early Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) announced that the state would not implement the health insurance exchanges as outlined in the Affordable Care Act.  McCrory also got behind legislation that passed today opting North Carolina out of Medicaid expansion mandated by President Obama’s healthcare reform law.

“Throughout our first few weeks in office, we have done a thorough review of the advantages and disadvantages of expanding Medicaid in North Carolina and determining the right exchange option for our state. ..this review included discussions with other governors, the White House, health care providers and N.C. legislative leaders.”

“The results of our findings make it abundantly clear that North Carolina is not ready to expand the Medicaid system.. [….]

Taxmageddon Cometh

Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Hikes on the Horizon

With all of the talk on the other side about the GOP ‘destroying’ the middle class, the January 2013 ‘Taxmageddon’ will do more harm to the middle class than you are probably aware of.

A few points from a Heritage.org research article (and then there’s more):

Taxmageddon Is Huge

  • Unprecedented Tax Hike For 2013: Starting January 1, 2013, Americans will face a $494 billion tax increase, the highest ever in one year. Obamacare’s tax increase over 10 years barely edges ahead of Taxmageddon at $502 billion. The average American household would see its taxes rise by $3,800 in 2013 alone.
  • Taxmageddon Hits the Middle ClassTaxmageddon falls primarily on middle- and low-income Americans. That’s because 60 percent of the Bush tax cuts went to middle and low-income taxpayers.
  • Holding Off on Hiring: Although these taxes don’t start until January 1, 2013, they are already having a negative impact on the economy. This just continues to slow job creation and stop many unemployed Americans from going back to work.    more

Government-Run Healthcare – Is It Really Free?

I’ve talked with friends from the UK about free healthcare there and with a friend who just lost his father-in-law in Ukraine while bribing the doctors to treat the man – in a free healthcare country.  I’ve just read an article about the huge problem with the sick – elderly and young people – in hospitals and nursing care facilities in the UK, where people have died of starvation and dehydration. One young man died of dehydration while begging for water.  His parents were told that he was mentally unstable – so he didn’t know that he needed a drink of water?

That’s free healthcare.  It’s neither free nor good.  It’s not sustainable or survivable.  At what cost in lives and health will we take on ‘free’ healthcare?

We might have problems with healthcare in the US, but we don’t know anything yet.  If the government run healthcare that we are looking at becomes permanent, we will find out just how great ‘free’ healthcare really is.

The following is an article written by Daniel J Mitchell of Townhall.com:

“Wanna Die?  Try Government-Run Healthcare”

“I’m not a fan of the American healthcare system. It suffers from huge inefficiencies because of problems such as third-party payer, which is caused by government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid along with a system of tax code-driven over-insurance in the supposedly private sector.

But regardless of how much I grouse about the damage government causes in the United States, I can say with considerable confidence that the government-run system in the United Kingdom has even larger problems.

Here are some of the shocking details from a report in the UK-based Daily Mail.”

Continue reading…